Definition

A mastoidectomy is surgery to remove cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear. These cells are called mastoid air cells.

Description

The surgery used to be a common way to treat an infection in the mastoid air cells. Such infection usually resulted from an ear infection that spread to the nearby bone in the skull.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Mastoidectomy may be used to treat:

  • Cholesteatoma
  • Complications of an ear infection (otitis media)
  • Infections of the mastoid bone that do not get better with antibiotics
  • To place a cochlear implant

Risks

  • Changes in taste
  • Dizziness
  • Hearing loss
  • Infection that persists or keeps returning
  • Noises in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Weakness of the face
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